Healthy Communities for Healthy Futures - Minnesota Department of Health

Healthy Communities for Healthy Futures

Group of women and girls enjoying food at a block party

The Children and Youth with Special Health Needs Program seeks proposals from community-based non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, and Tribal Nations to deliver projects addressing health disparities in the leading risk factors for the most common birth conditions in Minnesota, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • Substance misuse
  • STI's and other infections
  • Chemical exposures
  • Certain medications
  • Maternal stress

Many communities experience a disproportionate burden of these risk factors. Community-led approaches of addressing these risk factors are necessary to create positive, sustainable change in these disparities.

As such, this grant program will fund the development of new projects or enhance existing programs to address health disparities in the risk factors listed above with the goal of preventing future birth conditions in Minnesota. For more information on birth conditions in Minnesota and common risk factors, visit the Birth Conditions in Minnesota webpage.

Request for Proposals

Key Dates

Letter of Intent Deadline (optional): February 28, 2020
Q&A Deadline: February 28, 2020
Application Deadline: March 16, 2020
Program Dates: July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2023

Questions and Answers

All questions about the RFP must be submitted by email to or by phone at 651-201-3648. Questions and answers will be posted every Friday. Please submit questions no later than 4:30 pm Central Time on February 28, 2020. The final questions and answers will be posted on March 6, 2020.

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The quickest way to get ahold of me is to email You may also call me at 651-201-3648. I try to be in the office; however, I often have meetings that take me away from my desk. You can leave a voicemail with your questions and I will post my responses on this Q&A webpage the Friday after you call. Otherwise, to guarantee that I am available to discuss your questions over the phone, the best thing to do is email me to schedule a time for a phone call.

Grant Overview

Each grantee can receive up to $37,500 each year for up to three years.
The grant program will fund two grantees for up to three years. Each grantee will receive up to $37,500 each year.Eligible Applicants

Eligible Applicants

Non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses, and Tribal Nations may apply for this grant. If the non-profit organization or for-profit business is owned by an individual, they should apply as their organization or business.
Academic institutions do not qualify as "community-based" organizations and would not be eligible to apply. However, academic institutions may partner with a community-based organization or Tribal Nation that is applying and fulfill the administrative responsibilities like managing invoices and sending in progress reports. The key is that the partnering community-based organization or Tribal Nation must be responsible for the majority of the project. Ensure the applicant organization or Tribal Nation outlines the administrative role of the academic institution in both the budget and work plan.
MDH does not require for any official documentation like a Memorandum of Understanding or Letter of Support to show involvement of community partners. Please list community partners for the proposed project in Appendix E: Project Narrative (Section III, Question 3) and include them in Appendix F: Work Plan under "Staff and community partners." Any additional materials that are not required by the RFP will not be reviewed by grant reviewers.

Eligible Projects

The Healthy Communities for Healthy Futures grant program does not require that projects focus solely on pregnant women, non-pregnant women, or mothers with young children. Research shows that where people live, work, learn, and play all impact their health. This grant is rooted in the understanding that promoting health of all members in the community ultimately leads to healthier pregnancies and healthier babies.
Yes. General health outreach and food justice programming could fall into multiple levels in the Spectrum of Prevention and would qualify for this funding.

Letter of Intent

No. The Letters of Intent will be used to gauge interest in the Request for Proposals to see how many applications we might expect and whether we need to do more outreach to get the word out about this funding opportunity.
Please include the following information in the Letter of Intent: name of main contact for application, organization, address, phone number, email address, target population(s), geographic area(s), target risk factor(s), and target level(s) on the Spectrum of Prevention. Applicants do not need to describe the specifics of the project in the Letter of Intent.

Potential applicants do not need to provide extensive detail in the Letter of Intent. Here is an example of a sufficient letter of intent:

  • Name of main contact for application: John Doe
  • Organization: Latino Community Center
  • Address: 123 ABC Lane, Blue Earth, MN 56013
  • Phone number: 555-555-5555
  • Email address:
  • Target population: Latino families
  • Geographic area: Faribault County
  • Target risk factor: Diabetes
  • Target level on the Spectrum of Prevention: Educating providers


Applications may be submitted by email in PDF format to or by mail to:
Mattie Jensen
Health Educator, Children and Youth with Special Health Needs Section
Child and Family Health Division
P.O. Box 64882
St. Paul, MN 55164-0882

Paper applications sent by mail must be received by the Minnesota Department of Health by March 16, 2020 and will not go off the postmark date.

No. There are two ways applicants can submit an application digitally. Applicants can fill out the application in the Word document RFP file, save it as a PDF, and email it to Applicants can also print out the application, write in responses, scan it to PDF, and email it as well.

A successful grant application shows how the proposed project will be effective in addressing one or more risk factors related to birth conditions. This grant program is especially looking for projects that are community-driven, culturally-specific, and innovative. Strong applications will highlight what makes the project unique and tailored to the community to be served.

A successful grant application also answers each question fully and includes all components from the application score sheet (see Appendix C). These are the criteria that reviewers will be using to rate each application. Each section of the score sheet correlates to a section of the grant application. For instance, Section I of the score sheet lists all information that should be included in Section I of the project narrative.

Additionally, the work plan of a successful grant application should clearly show how the applicant will put the proposed project into action. The instructions in the beginning of the work plan template provide a basic description of how to write effective objectives and strategies that will guide the work plan.

There are a few things that might be helpful for first-time applicants to know. Applications must include all completed items from the Application Checklist (Appendix A) to qualify for review. It may be helpful to refer to the Application Score Sheet (Appendix C) while completing the application to ensure that it covers all information that will be scored by the grant reviewers.

There is a question in the Project Narrative (Appendix E) that asks for the organization's previous experience working with the State of Minnesota; however, first-time applicants should know they will not lose any points in the grant application scoring for not having previous experience working with a state agency.

Applicants should not include materials not requested in the Request for Proposals (such as letters of recommendation, news articles mentioning the applicant organization, program flyers). Any additional materials will not be included in the review of applications.

If you are awarded funding and are not a current vendor for the State of Minnesota, the grant program manager at the Minnesota Department of Health will assist you in registering as a vendor. Additionally, if awarded funding, grantees must wait until the grant agreement is in place before beginning grant activities. The grant agreement is not the same as the notice of funding.

Grant Award and Grant Agreement

The Minnesota Department of Health anticipates notifying applicants whether they were awarded funding by May 15, 2020.

Yes. If awarded applicants are not currently vendors of the State of Minnesota, the grant program staff at the Minnesota Department of Health will help them to register as vendors.

After you have been awarded funding, you must wait until the grant program begins (July 1, 2020) and you have a fully executed grant agreement in place before you begin working on your project.

MDH will move as quickly as possible to fully execute the grant agreement before the start date of the grant program (July 1, 2020); however, it may take longer depending on how long it takes to receive the agreement from the grantees and how long it takes for MDH to process the agreement on our end.

Current Preconception Health Grants

From June 2017 to May 2020, MDH has funded community partners to deliver the CDC Diabetes Prevention Program to help prevent future Minnesotan babies being born with birth conditions. To learn more, visit the Preconception Health in Minnesota Grant webpage.

Updated Tuesday, 18-Feb-2020 17:21:13 CST